Georgia Tech 78, Winston-Salem 43

Coach Paul Hewitt ideally wants Georgia Tech’s offense to flow

through big men Gani Lawal and Derrick Favors.

Now Hewitt just needs to create more scoring chances for

Lawal.

“I’m concerned we’re not getting him more shots,” the coach

said. “He’s really improved his free-throw shooting. His offensive

game is getting better.”

Mfon Udofia scored 17 points, and Derrick Favors had 13 points

and 11 rebounds as the two freshmen helped Georgia Tech earn its

second straight win, 78-43 over Winston-Salem State on Tuesday.

The Yellow Jackets (10-2) have won eight of 10, but Lawal, whose

13.7 scoring average leads the team, took only three shots from the

field and finished with two points.

“He’s a better free-throw shooter, and his jumper from 15 feet

is improving,” Hewitt said. “We have to do a better job of

getting him the ball.”

With a starting lineup that included guards Udofia, D’Andre

Bell, Maurice Miller, Georgia Tech had the pressure it needed to

force 31 turnovers, a season high for the Rams (2-8).

“We play in streaks, bad streaks then good streaks,” said

Udofia, who had three assists and four turnovers. “We have to work

on keeping our intensity all the way.”

Miscues by Winston-Salem State led to 34 points for the Yellow

Jackets. The Rams failed to score a second-half point until the

12:56 mark, when two free throws by Brian Fisher cut the lead to

50-20.

“It was one of the toughest games I’ve ever had to coach mainly

because of lack of discipline,” Winston-Salem State coach Bobby

Collins said. “With 31 turnovers, you aren’t going to beat very

many teams or even give yourself a chance to be in games.”

Zachery Peacock had 13 points and seven rebounds for Georgia

Tech, which dropped out of the Top 25 poll after a home loss to

Florida State on Dec. 20.

Hewitt hopes starting guard Iman Shumpert could return Saturday

when Georgia Tech visits North Carolina-Charlotte. Shumpert, who’s

been sidelined since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery Dec. 3,

gives Hewitt another reliable ball handler to make inside passes to

Lawal and Favors.

After winning just two games last season in the Atlantic Coast

Conference, Hewitt knows the Jackets’ best chance to win is to

maximize the presence of Favors, who could go high in the NBA

draft, and Lawal, a potential first-round pick as a junior.

Favors is averaging 12.9 points and nine rebounds. Lawal is

averaging 9.7 rebounds, but he scored only four points on 1 for 7

shooting against Florida State and took just six shots in an

11-point performance in last week’s win over Kennesaw State.

“We know as a group what we have to do,” Hewitt said. “I

think that has been established, going all the way back to (a

three-game trip last month to) Puerto Rico where we saw the good

and the bad. Obviously we need to stick with the good.”

Fisher led the Rams with nine points, but the senior guard from

nearby Marietta also had a game-high eight turnovers.

Marcus Wells’ layup at the 5:47 mark of the first half brought

Winston-Salem State within eight points, but the Jackets went on a

26-2 run that ended when Miller’s 3-pointer made it 50-18 with

13:57 remaining.

After starting for the first time this season, Miller could

return to a reserve role when Shumpert comes back. Miller made 35

starts in his first two seasons at Georgia Tech.

“We have a lot of confidence in each other,” Miller said.

“We’re on the same page.”